Posted at 6:00 AM on April 30, 2007
by David Zingler
Once again the Detroit Tigers get the last laugh. Last season they watched the Central Division title slip away on the season’s last day thanks to a sweep at the hands of the lowly Kansas City Royals. The Twins were soaked in bubbly that day, but were unceremoniously swept by Oakland in the ALDS. The Wild Card Tigers of course, coasted to all the way to the World Series.
This season, Torii Hunter showed his appreciation to the Royals by sending the rag-tag squad four bottles of Dom Perignon. Of course, the move caused quite a stir and the infamous champagne was soon returned. As we all now know, an obscure rule prohibits major league players from exchanging gifts for events that occur on the field.
The controversy however, didn’t stop the Tigers from exacting a measure of revenge. Upon hearing the news that Royals hurler Zack Greinke had beaned Hunter in the face on April 26, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch decided to reward the young hurler with five bottles of champagne.
“Losing the division title the way we did last year was painful enough, especially to a team that couldn’t even beat Oakland once,” Ilitch explained. “Then to find out that Hunter had to rub it in our faces with the champagne – well, that was just too much. I’m glad he’s not seriously hurt, but I’d be lying if I said I was upset about the beaning.”
Greinke meanwhile, seemed a little confused about the turn of events. “The last thing I want to do is get dragged into the middle of this,” he commented. “I don’t even drink champagne, so I’ll probably return it or give it to some Royals fans who are stuck watching us play baseball all summer.”
Hunter, for his part, refused to add fuel to the fire, “Man, I guess it just wasn’t my week,” the centerfielder said. “Don’t worry though; my pretty smile will be back to a 100% in no time.”